Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Peru: Two Days of Wheelchair Work

Tuesday came and we got to head to the warehouse that stored the wheelchairs we would be distributing. We got there and it reminded me of the Receiving Department at Menards. There were all kinds of boxes so I felt right at home. We had swung by the office of Camino de Vida to pick up a handful of volunteers.

A truck came that we loaded with all of the wheelchair parts and then we loaded back up into the van and headed to where we would be distributing them and unloaded the truck. After we unloaded the truck we headed back to the office and spent our time cutting up blankets so they could be distributed to anyone in need. We had a great system down and got more than a dozen cut and wrapped to give out in just a couple of hours.

We ate lunch at the office then headed to the hotel to rest and wash up, and then we headed to the Inka Market to do some shopping. I found some fun things for the kids and my parents.
The next day was so amazing! I got to put wheelchairs together with our team and a huge group of volunteers. I was definitely in my element with tools, as basic as they were! Fred, Bob and I got into a rhythm and really knocked out some wheelchairs.

There are two types of wheelchairs: Gen 1 and Gen 2. One was meant for people who had severe disabilities and couldn’t hold themselves up for whatever reason. The other wheelchair was meant for people who were able to hold themselves upright, but had a hard time getting around. It was so exciting knowing what was going to happen with these wheelchairs!

From there we found out we were going to go visit a family that had been given a wheelchair a couple years ago. God had put it on Adam’s heart to stay in touch with this family. Thankfully he did because a year ago their house was destroyed in a landslide! He wanted to go check on them and bring them some food. We were all game!

The outdoor market we went to was exactly what you’d expect it to be. Nothing at all like a Super Walmart or Safeway or Cub Foods. There were plucked chickens sitting on the counter, cow hooves, goat heads, and various other animal parts. Nothing refrigerated of course. We picked up a variety of food for the family.

When we got to her house, she was so happy to see Adam and the rest of us. He went in with a couple of people into the bedroom to say ‘hi’ to the son. What I didn’t know was, this woman had had polio as a child. She had one leg that from what I cold tell was useless and not even complete. She was probably the size of my 10 yr old son, but man, her faith was twice her size!

Someone asked if we could pray and she burst into tears and that caused the rest of us to bawl our eyes out. She just kept saying, “Thank you God!” Her thankfulness was palpable. After we prayed she showed us her old house that was just down the hill from the one Adam and his team helped build that they were living in.

We all took our time going down this loose rock, steep hill and the next thing I know, I’m at the bottom and the lady is standing next to me. lol She’s like a mountain goat! She got down that hill faster and more confidently than the rest of us. =) The old house was basically right where the dump is and the house is obviously not livable after the landslide.

Visiting this family was probably one of the greatest highlights on my trip. I’ve been blessed by others before. I’ve had my best friend LK bring us meat because she knew we didn’t have any, even when she didn’t have much. This is what Christ calls us to. THIS is how we love our neighbor as ourselves.


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.